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Chris in Hampshire "Mrs C" (Hampshire, England)

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Sweet Dreams, Little One
Sweet Dreams, Little One
by Massimo Gramellini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing, 2 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I felt very let down by this book.

The little synopsis made this work of fiction sound really good but the reality, for me, was far from that.

The front cover shows that "Sweet Dreams Little One" by Massimo Gramellini is a novel, BUT, it did not read like one, it was very confusing. The Author's name is that of the people in the book. The story was much more like a memoir, an autobiography - it was a very strange read.

The first page and then the next two or three chapters of the book were fine, but the more I read on the more I found the story to be lacklustre. Yes, it is sad for a little boy to lose his mother, but that little boy grew into a man who shunned offers of help from well meaning people and seemed to just wallow in his self obsession rather than getting on with life and making the best of things.

To me it was disjointed, it did not flow. I did persevere to the end of the book, but it is not a novel that I will remember and I definitely could not recommend it. It is too dreary, too lifeless, it just went nowhere for me.

Whether or not the story has lost something in the translation from Italian to English I don't know, but I am amazed that it is a No 1 Bestseller.

Geemarc Corded Telephone - Apollo10 Black/Grey- UK Version
Geemarc Corded Telephone - Apollo10 Black/Grey- UK Version
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A Well Priced Phone, 2 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Even though both my husband and I have mobile phones, we have never given up our land-line. Batteries run down, reception is not always good with a mobile and although we don’t use the telephone a lot it is essential to have a reliable one. We have also kept the landline so as to have the facility of Broadband.

We like things that are simple & functional and this Apollo 10 basic telephone fits that criteria. I have got it to replace an existing extension phone in the bedroom, as the Apollo 10 does not take up much space on the bedside unit.

* The phone is nicely packaged, with the box providing a list of the features of the phone, printed in English and French.

* There is a User Guide which is adequate and easy to read follow. However I am not sure if it is the Handset of the Phone, or the Information in the User Guide which is out of date. On the Handset bottom row of buttons, reading left to right, the buttons are FLASH Button, MUTE/STORE Button and REDIAL – Last Number Redial Function. The User Guide shows this on the illustration of the Phone Handset, BUT on the actual Handset the Flash Button shows an R, and the other two buttons just have symbols. This is a bad manufacturing failure and I believe it would be better if the Phone Handset had the words on the buttons as shown in the Guide, rather than symbols that are on the phone that I have received. (see photos) [If the Manufacturer reads reviews perhaps they could advise]

* When the Handset is on the Base and the phone rings, as well as the sound there is also a flashing light. This is a nice function if you prefer to disengage the ring tone.

* The Buttons on the Handset are clear and large with a positive action when pressing them. You don’t have to be an older person to appreciate clarity!

* As already mentioned there is a Mute Facility and Last Number Re-Dial which are useful features.

* There is the facility to store some frequently used numbers BUT only 2 numbers are a straightforward 1 Touch store. There is the facility to store 10 more numbers but these are on a 2 Touch system which I find irritating.

* There are 3 Ringer Melodies with 3 different volume levels within each of the Melodies. Do not get too excited as on the phone I have received, they are not so much 3 different melodies but rather 3 very slight variations on a normal ring. The differences are so negligible as to be barely noticeable. The sound that emits is definitely NOT a melody!! It is no big deal to me, but I feel the description in the User Guide is very misleading.

* The Handset feels sturdy but is not too heavy. The coiled cording that attaches Handset to Base Unit measures 16 inches in situ. The Base Unit is very light which is a disadvantage and I would prefer it to have at least been the same weight as the Handset.

* The Phone Cable that goes from the Base to the Incoming wall socket measures 67 inches, so is a fair length.

* The Apollo Phone can be wall mounted which is a useful feature (keeping it out of the reach of little children!) and would of course mean that the base being lightweight would then not be a problem. (Fixing Screws are not included).

In conclusion, this phone represents excellent value from a long established maker of telecoms. However, because of the confusion between what the User Guide Shows and the actual markings on the bottom row of buttons, coupled with the base being too light in weight I am deducting 1 star.
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Old Dog
Old Dog
by Barney Bardsley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Dogs go to Heaven too - they must do, 20 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Old Dog (Paperback)
This is the true story of a rescue dog, a dog that had suffered neglect - a very bad start to her life. It was when the author, her husband Tim and daughter Molly went to the RSPCA in December 1999, that this little mongrel dog's life changed for the better.

Out of the 3 dogs that were introduced to them at the Animal Shelter, it was the little "Sonia" a predominantly black Spaniel x Collie that seemed the most suitable. Suitable for who? It was "Sonia" that chose this family by running straight up to Tim to make friends. They were told that this little dog perpetually cried whilst in the kennel and she could not bear to be shut in. The family went home to think about the dogs they had seen but there was something about "Sonia". Whilst Tim and Molly had fallen for the little dog, Barney had not been impressed and wondered what was it she was missing? What was it that her husband and daughter saw in "Sonia". So unbeknown to Tim and Molly, Barney arranged to go back to see "Sonia" and to take her for a walk to try and get to know her. After this visit and the subsequent adoption of "Sonia" the rest, as they say, is history.

Once home "Sonia"'s name was changed to "Muffin" - a new life and a new identity. A life that was to be full of learning on both sides. For "Muffin" it was to learn that not all humans are bad and that she was now loved and cherished. For Tim, Barney & Molly it was to learn that dogs do not come pre-programmed, that they have to be taught and often rescue dogs who have suffered trauma, are that bit harder to train and the dog takes that bit longer to settle and to trust. (Ah, if only they could talk huh!)

The author takes us through the ups and downs of dog ownership. The difficulties of coming to terms and coping with terminal illness in the family. The awful numbness when that life inevitably ends. The picking up of one's life and getting by day by day. Most of all, Barney gives a full insight into the devotion and love that "Muffin" gave to her family. How devoted she was to Tim and how as time went by little "Muffin" continued to play a vital role in the dynamics of family life. Sadly our pets do not live as long as we do and the reader is then taken on the final journey that "Muffin" had to make and how she took that journey with dignity and without fear.

It is a beautifully written book that will surely resonate with dog owners and for those people that are yet to know the joys of dog companionship, hopefully it will be to a Rescue Centre they will turn to when they want to welcome a dog into their home.

Smokey the very loud Purring cat
Smokey the very loud Purring cat
by Ruth Adams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I Would Love to Meet "Smokey", 19 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a very easy to read true story about a gorgeous cat called "Smokey". Obviously, because unfortunately animals cannot speak, "Smokey's" early days are supposition as she did not have the best start in life. She had 7 previous homes before she was taken into Ruth Adam's home where "Smokey's" life then took a turn for the better and she is now world famous.

All cats purr like all dogs bark, but to become the cat with the loudest purr in the world is quite something! To get into the Guinness World Records book is no mean feat and took a lot of work on behalf of "Smokey" ably assisted by Ruth and others.

Because this is very important life journey, going from a kitten born in Northamptonshire in 1999 who had 1 sister and 2 brothers, to a world class purrer, "Smokey" has written her story herself so you are reading this from a feline's point of view.

It is a charming book and has some lovely sketches and a wealth of photos in the centre of the book which all brings "Smokey's" story even more alive for you.

A Place for Us
A Place for Us
by Harriet Evans
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! So much in 1 Family!, 19 Feb. 2015
This review is from: A Place for Us (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I firstly have to say that as well as the description of the book, it was the gorgeous illustration on the front cover that really drew me in. A watercolour of a lovely old house with a vast garden with pretty flowers and the scene is completed with a tiny little dog. They say 'you can't tell a book by the cover' but in this case I think you can!

All families have secrets, skeletons in the cupboard, happenings that have been unfortunate but the Winter family have far more than most.

The book opens with Martha, wife of David and mother to Bill, Florence and Daisy and grandmother to Cat (Daisy's daughter) and Lucy (Bill's daughter). The time is August 2012 and it is in this chapter that Martha eludes to the fact that there are family secrets that have to be addressed.

As the story continues we meet husband David and the rest of the Winter family which includes Karen who is Bill's second wife. We also meet some of the villagers in Winter Stoke, Somerset that know the Winter family. Looking from the outside in, "Winterfold" is a gorgeous homely house with the Winter family seemingly being a close knit unit. But are they? What are their secrets? Should these secrets be out in the open and in doing so how will the various members of the family react?

The chapters are written from the perspective of the different members of the family and the times often go back to the past, as well as being in the present. This sounds complicated but after a few chapters it all falls into place and is not a problem with the reading.

The book is so well written that you feel that you are part of the family, that you are a fly on the wall watching them all as each piece of family history is revealed. You will be carried along with their dramas and you will feel sympathy and joy and you will want to keep turning those pages to see how it all works out.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it would make a great TV series.

Philips HP3621 200w InfraCare Lamp
Philips HP3621 200w InfraCare Lamp
Price: £35.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to Use Health Aid, 19 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
To be honest there is not a lot to say about an Infra Red Lamp, but I will start by saying that they are very useful to have, whatever your age group, as they definitely have a place in pain management.

Using heat to ease pain is clean, easy and relaxing. The warmth penetrates deeply into the skin to warm the tissues, stimulate blood circulation & dilate blood vessels which then accelerates the rebuilding and nourishment of the body's tissues. As well as Therapeutic Applications there are also Cosmetic Applications Heat Lamps have been around for a very long time and looking at this one, it is evident that they have vastly improved.

This Philips HP3621 200w Infra Care Lamp is a very neat and well made unit. It is lightweight to carry and modern in appearance. The tilting action works well and is very smooth.

The power cable is of a good length measuring 70 inches from the back of the appliance to the electric plug.

A comprehensive User Guide is provided with the Lamp and you must read it prior to usage. It is multilingual written in English + 10 other languages.

The Lamp has a 2 year Guarantee which, to my mind, shows that the Manufacturer has confidence in their product. The Lamp can be registered on-line.

Should you be wanting to purchase this lamp as a gift for someone, it is well packaged in a sturdy informative box, that provides more sturdy protective packing inside.

Oral-B PRO 2000 Pink Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush
Oral-B PRO 2000 Pink Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush
Price: £37.11

5.0 out of 5 stars Effective and Pretty in Special Edition Pink, 17 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have previously had the ordinary older style Braun Oral-B rechargeable brush, the Sonic Brush and currently use the Tri-Zone. I was really pleased to have the opportunity to try this model with the newly designed brush head.

The handle of the tooth brush is of the current design. Having the ridges on the white plastic side of the handle and the pink grippy material on the inside, makes the toothbrush is easy and comfortable to hold. The handle is waterproof and therefore electrically safe being designed for use in the bathroom.

The new style brush head that comes with this model, is a 3D Cross Action movement, which easily enables all areas of your teeth to be cleaned and your gums to be massaged. The bristles on this newly introduced brush head are angled, to enable a precise clean and better plaque removal. 1 Oral-B CrossAction Brush Head is provided with the unit.

There are 2 modes with this Oral-B Brush.
* The one it is automatically on when you power up the brush is Daily Clean which is a standard pulsating action which rotates and oscillates.
* The 2nd mode is Gum Care which is a more gentle action to massage the gums. When you press the button the second time, the action changes to Gum Care.
* To turn the brush off, press and hold the button again until the motor stops.

You use this electric toothbrush as you would a manual one by damping the bristles and applying the tooth paste. Then, BEFORE switching on, hold the brush head against your teeth and then switch on. All you do then is to guide the brush head slowly from tooth to tooth round your mouth, from 1 quadrant to the next when you hear the stutter. You do not brush backward and forward as you would with a manual brush, you only use that action if you fit a Tri-Zone brush head.

This toothbrush also has a pressure sensor, to ensure that you protect your teeth and gums from over hard brushing. The sensor is in the form of a red light which will illuminate to remind you to reduce the pressure, in addition, you will also hear a different sound when brushing, if too much pressure is applied.

The toothbrush also has a built in timer, so that within the 2 mins recommended brushing time, there is a stuttering sound after 30 seconds to remind you to move on to the next quadrant of your mouth.

The other brush heads that will fit and can be used with this Oral-B PRO 2000 are:-

* the Floss Action
* the 3DWhite
* the Trizone
* the Sensitive Clean
* the Precision Clean

Braun do not recommend the Floss Action or 3DWhite brush heads for anyone who has to wear a dental brace, there is a specifically designed Oral-B Ortho brush head for those circumstances.

When the brush is first placed on the charging base, it will probably illuminate the red light indicating that it needs to be fully charged. Te initial charging time for the brush will be approx 8 hours or so. Whilst the brush is charging the green light flashes, which goes out when the unit is fully charged. A full charge provides enough power to use the toothbrush twice a day for 7 days

All in all, this is a great tooth brush that has a 2 year limited Guarantee. However, if you register your product on line you will get an additional +1 year Warranty free of charge! Win win huh!!

If you have never used an electric toothbrush before, give yourself time to get used to it because they are different. Once you have used it, you will not want to use anything else. I think it is brilliant.

The Happy Puppy Handbook: Your Definitive Guide to Puppy Care and Early Training
The Happy Puppy Handbook: Your Definitive Guide to Puppy Care and Early Training
by Pippa Mattinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with Valuable Information and Help, 13 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you are about to get a family dog for the first time and you can only buy 1 book then this is the one to go for.

The contents of the book is in 3 parts
1. Preparing for your Puppy
2. Life with your Puppy
3. Problem Solving

Within each part, there are separate chapters covering lost of important aspect and they are in ascending order going from step 1, upwards to each stage of the process as it comes.

Each part is colour coded making reference easy. At the very end of the book there is an alphabetical Index. All in all this book is very easy to follow.

Being a dog owner whether first time round, or experienced but perhaps being dogless for a while after losing a dog, it is always worth reading up and keeping up to date with the more modern methods of puppy/dog raising. Sometimes even with an older rescue dog, it is a case of starting again because that dog is now in a new life with you, so with the instructions and advice from the Rescue Centre, together with this book you are well armed to succeed in your relationship with your new best friend so that the dog's life as well as that of the family will be enriched.

I would recommend that even before you choose a breed, whether to go to a breeder or to a rescue centre, that you read this book from cover to cover. Owning a dog is a HUGE responsibility, not only to the welfare of your chosen dog, but also to the general public and your friends and family and to have a dog should not be a rash or speedy decision or one to be taken lightly. To get a dog on a whim, on the spur of the moment without thoroughly researching the in's and out's of dog ownership is why the partnership fails and so many poor dogs end up in rescue centres.

You will enjoy reading this book because it is well planned, well laid out and illustrated and is in simple, easy to understand English. It has a nice wipe clean cover and the printing is in a very comfortable to read typeface.

It is a book that both partners must read and any older children who are going to be living in the same house as the new dog. For the little children, it is important that you teach and speak to them to help them understand as much as possible about the needs of the dog, BEFORE you bring it home.

A final piece of advice is once you have read this book and if you decide that you can and will follow the advice and that you can manage a dog with all the other aspects of your family life and work, then think about a breed. At that stage, please get several books from the Library and read up as much as you possibly can about your chosen breed. All puppies are cute and cuddy, but not all breeds grow up that way. Each breed of dog has been bred for a purpose and that purpose is hard wired into their genes. Take into account also, the size that dog will be when it is fully mature. Will your home, your garden or your car be large enough to accommodate your dog? the bigger the dog the more expense it is to feed and the more costly the Vet's bills as medication is usually dispensed according to the weight of the dog.

Good luck and may you have many, many years of joy and happiness with your new family member. If the worst happens and it doesn't work out, PLEASE do not dump your dog or pass it on to someone else. PLEASE do the right thing and take it into a Rescue Centre like the Dogs Trust. They will not think bad of you or judge you, but they will look after that dog until they can find a suitable home for it and in the meantime whilst at the Rescue Centre you dog will be safe, warm, exercised, fed and cared for.

Avojo Black Peel Off Mask Set of 4 Sachets (10ml each)
Avojo Black Peel Off Mask Set of 4 Sachets (10ml each)
Offered by Instant Beauty Fix
Price: £10.00

4.0 out of 5 stars It Really Does Work!, 11 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Over the years I have used many different types of facial cleansing masks, but never a black one! Having seen this one, I now know where the old term "mud pack" might have come from!

It is easily applied to dry skin that is make up free and is designed to be used in the T Zone of the face. At all costs the eye area must be avoided and I can see why. When I applied the mask to my nose, I could feel a sort of fume effect in my eyes for a second or two and was very careful with the application. I actually used it on my cheeks and chin as well and left the mask on for around 30 minutes while having a nice relaxing soak in the bath.

I did not find peeling the mask off after the required time was particularly easy. I only managed to pull little bits off at a time which took ages. In the end I washed the last of it off, particularly from the top of the forehead where it had been on the hairline and also on my cheeks.

All the effort was really worth it. I do not have blackheads, but more slightly large pores on my nose. Once the mask was totally removed by skin felt and looked brilliant!, even for an older person.

I have deducted 1 star in my rating because it was in my opinion, difficult to remove but that is all. It is a very effective facial mask and really did improve my facial appearance.

Revlon Super Lustrous Matte Lipstick - 4.2 g, Nude Attitude
Revlon Super Lustrous Matte Lipstick - 4.2 g, Nude Attitude
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars OK for Summertime, 7 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This lipstick is presented in a traditional casing and has the peace of mind in being sealed with cellophane that has perforations, making it easy to remove for use.

What was new in the presentation is that the top of the lid is transparent, so it is easy to see the colour without removing the cap. Very useful, if like me, you have a compartmented make up tray inside your dressing table.

The lipstick went on smoothly and provided good coverage. It did not dry my lips in any way and felt smooth and moisturised.

Being a free product to try I had no choice of colour. This lipstick called "Nude Attitude" is very reminiscent of the pale lips look of the 60's when I was a teenager. (It was not quite the same colour as illustrated. The picture makes it look more coral which it isn't) This colour is a bit orange biased and I found that given we are in the middle of Winter, it made me look a bit washed out. I think it will look better in Summer with the brighter days and the lighter colour clothes that we tend to wear at that time.

I am not keen on the colour but will not let that have any basis of my star rating.

I did not find this lipstick to be long lasting so for that reason I am taking off 1 star from the rating. It might last better on other ladies, after all we are all different and some skin types may take the stain of the lipstick better.

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